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Run time: 33 min
[Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0]



Jewel Encrusted Butterfly Wing Explosions by Robert Moran (1968)

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This is a rare video recording of Robert Moran’s groundbreaking “Jewel Encrusted Butterfly Wing Explosions” which was commissioned and performed by the Youth Chamber Orchestra of the Oakland Symphony in 1968, and aired on KQED -TV of San Francisco. During the preparation of the performance, we hear Charles Shere interview composer Robert Moran, in which he discusses the partially aleatoric score which calls on the performers to musically interpret an experimental film by Rick Paup and Jack Agins. The performance was conducted by Robert Hughes, who recollects: "...We took the work on tour, including at the National Music Educators' Convention in Seattle and, following the performance, the work was loudly booed while the ‘educators’ swooped to the stage to gobble up as many programs as they could to take home with them. I even received a letter c.10 years later from a Midwest educator saying he had to 'get it off his chest' and tell me how awful the experience was for him and how detrimental it would have been for his students if he had exposed them to it!" Robert Moran also adds: “There was one letter from somewhere, a mother who wrote Hughes: "My child plays viola in a youth orchestra and if I had known that such a work like this would be performed, I would refuse to let me child participate and would stop her work with the viola". The work, however has withstood the critical depredations of its times and now stands as a testament to the adventurousness and vitality of avant-garde art in the late 20th century with its collected cacophony appearing almost quaint to more modern ears.

This movie is part of the collection: Other Minds Video Archive

Audio/Visual: sound, color
Language: English
Keywords: Music; Orchestral Music; New Music; Aleatory Music; Mixed Media; Interview
Contact Information: For more detailed program information and to browse other material in the Other Minds Archive visit: <a href=""></a>

Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

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Charles Shere, interviewer
Rick Paup, film production
Jack Agins, film production

Terms of Use (31 Dec 2014)